Letters: Just Say No to Morgan Hill Cannabis Business | Morgan Hill Times

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Maintain the ban on retail cannabis

A request was made at a recent Morgan Hill City Council meeting to “revisit the cannabis discussion.” The city’s lengthy and thorough investigation into this issue in 2019 and the subsequent vote by the council to uphold the ban on retail cannabis stores in Morgan Hill remains fully relevant.

Moving on, I encourage council members to pay particular attention to the health and safety of children and to ensure that the city does everything in its power to limit the availability of harmful substances to children.

Mary Patterson

Trustee, Morgan Hill Unified School District

Just say “no” to the pot business

For the third time, city council members are trying to put the sale, distribution and cultivation of marijuana on the agenda. The city council is spending time and resources approving marijuana dispensaries in Morgan Hill. The council has already voted twice against marijuana dispensaries. So why another try? Money; big money. Marijuana is a multi-million dollar industry for its owners and investors. But the real cost to our children and their future is much more expensive.

There was a “perfect storm” of three factors that made marijuana today dangerous for children. First, marijuana has been legitimized and promoted in our society. Children believe marijuana is safe and a “medicine”. A marijuana dispensary in Morgan Hill will only promote false legitimation of a dangerous drug. Marijuana is the only drug that acts as a depressant, stimulant, and hallucinogen.

Second, marijuana has changed. THC is the psychoactive chemical in marijuana that gives the user the “high”. Naturally grown marijuana has a THC content of 3-6%. Marijuana has been chemically and artificially modified to increase plant-like THC above 30%. THC can be extracted from marijuana and sold in amounts ranging from 95 to 98%. This extracted THC is often “vaporized” and injected into “food”. Marijuana dispensaries often cite their elevated THC levels as a selling point.

But buyers watch out: THC has recently been shown to be dangerous, especially in a child’s developing brain. Recent medical research and studies have shown that:

– Marijuana is Addicting – National Institute on Substance Abuse 2020 Marijuana use among adolescents is linked to risk of depression and suicide in early adulthood – JAMA Psychiatry. 2019

– Highly potent marijuana (THC) can lead to psychosis. – The Lancet Psychiatry Journal 2019.

Third, marijuana intake has changed. A parent can no longer smell marijuana smoke on their child. Highly potent THC is now “vaporized” in electronic cigarettes. Or a child eats an edible laced with THC. These foods often look like treats or sweets that children already identify with and trust. Marijuana stores notoriously sell products that are marketed to children. A child can use marijuana without the tell-tale signs that would have alerted their parents to the child’s marijuana use.

After all, we now know that teenagers who see marijuana adverts in stores are more likely to use the drug.

While a marijuana dispensary in Morgan Hill would be profitable for owners and investors, our children and the community would end up paying the ultimate price – addiction, psychosis, depression, and suicide. No profit is worth a teenager’s life. Ensuring a bright, healthy and prosperous future for our children in a drug-free environment should be on the city council’s agenda, not marijuana dispensaries for the benefit of owners and investors.

Mike Robinson, Morgan Hill

DEA Special Agent, retired

Editor’s Note: According to City Clerk Michelle Bigelow, Morgan Hill City Council is expected to discuss commercial cannabis at its April 21 meeting. Council members will consider at a future meeting whether to proceed with the “full conversation” about a potential local commercial cannabis program.